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Clarington continues to offer high quality recreation programs and facilities

Clarington March 9, 2017/- The Municipality of Clarington continues to offer excellent recreational programs to residents as outlined in a report to Committee. Clarington makes every effort to provide quality recreational opportunities for participants of all ages across the Municipality. Clarington’s Community Services Department provided Council with a year-end review of programming and facility use for 2016.

Swimming lesson registration numbers were up in 2016 after the Alan Strike Aquatic and Squash Centre reopened for its first full year. The facility had undergone renovations, reopening in the spring of 2015. Over, 9200 individuals participated in swimming lessons last year. Drop-in swimming also increased with over 100,000 visits to Clarington’s pools.

Active living membership sales, visits, personal training and facility tours have all increased in 2016. For the first time, fitness classes were offered at the Kendal Community Centre in addition to locations in Courtice, Bowmanville and Newcastle. The newly renovated program room in Courtice Community Complex provides space for more than 50 classes per week. A new Youth Fitness Program was developed for children ages 6 to 17 to provide more fitness opportunities for children and youth. 

Clarington summer camps remain popular with parents and children. During summer 2016, 42 students worked at camp as supervisors and counsellors. They received 40 hours of training and gained important work experience. Clarington’s camps also participated in the Summer Jobs Service subsidy program. The program was created by the province and provides a wage subsidy to employers to hire students for the summer.

In 2016, Clarington’s Community Services Department was also busy running several corporate and special events including:

  • Fourth annual ‘For the Love of Art’ Mayor’s Gala that raised $22,000 for the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington and A Gift of Art Gallery;
  • Clarington Sport & Leisure Fair;
  • Recreation and Parks month, offering activities to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles;
  • 11th annual Mayor’s Golf Classic that raised $30,000 for Clarington Museums;
  • Clarington Blooms program that recognizes those who take time in making our community more beautiful;
  • 13th annual Clarington Sports Hall of Fame that has welcomed 80 inductees since the event began in 2003;
  • CP Holiday Train celebration;
  • New Year’s Eve family event at South Courtice Arena.

The Community Services Department also works closely with local community groups and organizations providing grant funding to support their community-based activities through the Community Grant Program. In 2016, the Community Services Department received 40 applications with $60,000 awarded to these not-for-profit groups who provided services that benefit our community.

The Community Event Sponsorship Program was formalized in 2016. The program provides up to $2,000 in sponsorship funding for community events that promote engagement and foster civic pride. The program started in the spring for events that occurred from July 1 to December 31. Over $33,000 was awarded to successful applicants.

Clarington’s Courtice Community Complex opened its Older Adult Activity Centre on April 23. Since then, older adults have participated in special events, luncheons, drop-in and registered programs. Programs have expanded to include locations in Newcastle and Bowmanville. Over 480 volunteer hours were logged by 15 volunteers who assisted in special events and drop-in programs.

The Facilities Division manages construction and renovation projects in the municipal recreation buildings. In 2016, the renovation of the Courtice Community Complex was finished and the Older Adult Activity Centre opened. In addition, a grant was obtained for renovations to the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex for upgrades to the banquet hall, kitchen and a new lobby. The target completion for this project is June 2017.

Each year, $1.5 million is budgeted for heat, hydro and water at our recreation facilities. Therefore, conservation is important when considering repairs and replacements. The refrigeration controls at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex and South Courtice Arena were upgraded to provide more energy efficient operation of the ice pads. Clarington received saveONenergy incentives to offset the costs of these important upgrades.

In 2016, the future recreation needs of Clarington’s growing population were assessed in the Facilities Development Strategy. The strategy’s goal is to provide staff and council a guide for the future of indoor recreation facility development in Clarington.

“We are proud of the range and quality of the programming we offer here in Clarington,” said Mayor Adrian Foster. “As we look toward the future needs of the community, we will continue to develop the high standard of programming that makes our community a great place to live and play.”

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